The Tiger's Nest monastery in Bhutan

«Today, tourism is second only to hydropower in terms of revenue. Happily, the demand for guides and drivers creates employment and provides income opportunities via the sale of handicrafts, etc. Moreover, US$65 of the US$250 fee goes to the government who in reinvest it into free education and healthcare for citizens. But some are concerned about the lack of “transparency on what is done with that revenue. It’s a closed system that would be severely tested in a society with more open government,” says Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Also by “removing freedom of choice from the individual [international] traveller, tour operators have a comfortable hold on the product, [so] suppliers are pushed down on price [and] it doesn’t create an incentive for innovation or creativity,” concludes Durband.»

Read the full article: Getting under the skin of a country that measures success in ‘Gross National Happiness’ by Emma Thomson, The Telegraph.